NBA Trade Speculation: 5 Trades That Need to Happen This Season

Greg Swartz@@CavsGregBRCleveland Cavaliers Lead WriterJanuary 23, 2012

NBA Trade Speculation: 5 Trades That Need to Happen This Season

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    This year's NBA trade deadline falls on March 15, giving teams almost another two months to decide whether they want to be buyers or sellers this spring.

    Some deals, though, are destined to happen despite the direction the team is going. 

    These five deals should benefit all teams involved by filling needs, clearing cap space and freeing up minutes for the league's emerging stars.

    As a final note, sorry, but you won't find any Dwight Howard trade speculation here as I believe he should stay in Orlando.


Nets, Grizzlies Swap Shooting Guards

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    The Deal:

    Memphis Grizzlies Receive: Anthony Morrow, second-round pick

    New Jersey Nets Receive: O.J. Mayo

    Let's face it, O.J. Mayo isn't going to be resigned by the Grizzlies, so why not get something for him? 

    Morrow is one of the league's best three-point shooters and would be a nice piece to come off the Memphis bench.  He comes rather inexpensively at $4 million for this year and next.

    New Jersey would provide a fresh start for Mayo and the opportunity to start in a backcourt with one of the league's best point guards and a possible return to his 18 points-per-game form.

    Grizzlies New Starting Five:

    PG: Mike Conley Jr.

    SG: Tony Allen

    SF: Rudy Gay

    PF: Zach Randolph

    C: Marc Gasol

    Bench: Morrow, Marreese Speights, Josh Selby, Dante Cunningham, Sam Young

    Nets New Starting Five:

    PG: Deron Williams

    SG: O.J. Mayo

    SF: Damion James

    PF: Kris Humphries

    C: Brook Lopez

    Bench: Mehmet Okur, MarShon Brooks, DeShawn Stevenson, Jordan Williams, Sundiata Gaines

Bulls Send Joakim Noah to Twin Cities

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    The Deal:

    Chicago Bulls Receive: Michael Beasley, Darko Milicic

    Minnesota Timberwolves Receive: Joakim Noah

    Noah has been disappointing for Chicago thus far this season as backup Omer Asik continues to see strong minutes.  Moving Noah would not only mean big cap relief but a starting job for Asik.  The Bulls once had to choose between Derrick Rose and Michael Beasley.  Now they get both with Beasley as a go-to scorer off the bench who can play either forward position.  Milicic fills the role of defensive backup center.

    Minnesota not only gets a talented rebounder and defensive center in Noah, but it frees up a starting position for Derrick Williams as well.  Kevin Love and Noah together would dominate on the glass and Minnesota could be competing for a playoff spot this year.

    Bulls New Starting Five:

    PG: Derrick Rose

    SG: Rip Hamilton

    SF: Luol Deng

    PF: Carlos Boozer

    C: Omer Asik

    Bench: Beasley, Taj Gibson, C.J. Watson, Kyle Korver

    T'Wolves New Starting Five:

    PG: Ricky Rubio

    SG: Wes Johnson

    SF: Derrick Williams

    PF: Kevin Love

    C: Joakim Noah

    Bench: Luke Ridnour, Wayne Ellington, Anthony Randolph, Jose Barea, Martell Webster, Anthony Tolliver

Lakers Land Steve Nash

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    The Deal:

    L.A. Lakers Receive: Steve Nash, Josh Childress

    Phoenix Suns Receive: Darius Morris, Luke Walton, Derek Fisher, Devin Ebanks, first-round pick

    The Lakers failed to get Chris Paul, and if they don't end up getting Dwight Howard, LA will be desperate to make some sort of move to fuel up for the playoffs.  Steve Nash is still one of the game's elite playmakers and should help to inject life into a stagnant Lakers offense, if only for one playoff run before he hits free agency. 

    The Suns begin youth movement by dealing Nash primarily for Morris and the first-round pick.  They make the Lakers take Childress and the four years left on his deal and in return take on the contracts of Walton and Fisher, both of which expire after next season.  Devin Ebanks is a nice, young player, and with this deal the Suns get younger, free up more cap space for the future and acquire an additional first rounder.

    Lakers New Starting Five:

    PG: Steve Nash

    SG: Kobe Bryant

    SF: Matt Barnes

    PF: Pau Gasol

    C: Andrew Bynum

    Bench: Metta World Peace, Childress, Steve Blake, Troy Murphy, Josh McRoberts

    Suns New Starting Five:

    PG: Fisher/Morris

    SG: Jared Dudley

    SF: Grant Hill

    PF: Markieff Morris

    C: Marcin Gortat

    Bench: Shannon Brown, Channing Frye, Robin Lopez, Ronnie Price, Hakim Warrick, Ebanks

Jazz, Kings, Bobcats Shake Up Roster

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    The Deal:

    Utah Jazz Receive: D.J. Augustin, Boris Diaw, Jason Thompson, Isaiah Thomas, first-round pick (from Kings)

    Charlotte Bobcats Receive: Paul Millsap

    Sacramento Kings Receive: Devin Harris, D.J. White

    Utah finds itself with a crowded frontcourt and will most likely be looking to move one of the higher-priced bigs in Millsap or Al Jefferson to make room for Derrick Favors and Enes Kanter.  Moving Millsap and Harris saves cap space and brings in two talented point guards in Augustin and Thomas.  Diaw can fill in at either forward position, and his expiring $9 million deal is very attractive.  Thompson can play the four or five and the future first-rounder from Sacramento helps too.

    The Bobcats don't seem to be in love with Augustin after drafting Kemba Walker, so I wouldn't be surprised if he's dealt despite enjoying a nice season.  Dealing D.J. allows them to get a little bigger by moving Walker from shooting guard to point guard.  Millsap is a stud power forward who the team can build around.  Diaw wasn't going to be resigned, and giving up White would be worth it for Millsap.

    It's no secret the Jazz have been shopping Harris due to his terribly unproductive season.  The Kings desperately need a true point guard as Tyreke Evans leads them with 4.4 assists per game.  Sacramento also receives D.J. White who would create a nice competition to push J.J. Hickson for the starting power forward spot.  They won't resign Thompson anyways, so giving up him and Thomas along with a future first rounder would be well worth it for someone with Harris' skill set.

    Jazz New Starting Five:

    PG: D.J. Augustin

    SG: Raja Bell/Alec Burks

    SF: Gordan Hayward

    PF: Derrick Favors

    C: Al Jefferson

    Bench: Kanter, Thomas, Diaw, Thompson, C.J. Miles

    Bobcats New Starting Five:

    PG: Kemba Walker

    SG: Gerald Henderson

    SF: Corey Maggette

    PF: Paul Millsap

    C: Byron Mullens

    Bench: Tyrus Thomas, Bismack Biyombo, Reggie Williams, Derrick Brown, Cory Higgins

    Kings New Starting 5:

    PG: Devin Harris

    SG- Tyreke Evans

    SF: John Salmons

    PF- J.J. Hickson

    C: DeMarcus Cousins

    Bench: Marcus Thornton, White, Jimmer Fredette, Francisco Garcia, Travis Outlaw, Donte Greene

Celtics Begin Youth Movement

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    The Deal:

    Boston Celtics Receive: Monta Ellis, Andris Biedrins

    Golden State Warriors Receive: Ray Allen, Jermaine O'Neal, Avery Bradley, JaJuan Johnson, first-round pick

    Boston hates to get rid of Allen but knows they have to get younger to compete.  Ellis can be a head case, but in a veteran locker room with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett he should be at his best.  Ellis is the go-to scorer Pierce used to be and helps take pressure off the vets.  Biedrins is overpriced but provides a young defensive presence down low.

    The Warriors now become Stephen Curry's team and the addition of Allen proves to be a great mentor for Curry and Klay Thompson.  JaJuan Johnson becomes the primary backup big, and the first rounder helps build for the future.  O'Neal fills in for now but is primarily dealt to get rid of Biedrins's contract.

    Celtics New Starting Five:

    PG: Rajon Rondo

    SG: Monta Ellis

    SF: Paul Pierce

    PF: Kevin Garnett

    C: Andris Biedrins

    Bench: Mickael Pietrus, Keyon Dooling, Greg Steimsma, Brandon Bass, Marquis Daniels

    Warriors New Starting Five:

    PG: Stephen Curry

    SG: Ray Allen

    SF: Dorell Wright

    PF: David Lee

    C: Jermaine O'Neal

    Bench: Thompson, Kwame Brown, Ekpe Udoh, Nate Robinson, Johnson, Bradley